Rumors of Maoist extortion and search operations by security forces forcing trekkers to return from the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) are unfounded. Neither trekking operators nor trekkers have faced such difficulties on the Annapurna trails.
Locals at Ghandruk and Birethanti say tourists are carrying on with their treks. They confirmed Maoist rebels in the region have dispersed after the army arrived. The locals also added that the Maoists did not terrorise tourists while collecting donations. Most rebels are satisfied with what they receive. There are, however, cases of opportunists posing as Maoists who harass tourists for donations. These people have reportedly manhandled locals, and they have fled the area. The Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) said a Spanish tourist confirmed security forces had indeed conducted search operations at Pun Hill, but only for a day. The association's regional chapter in Pokhara says no tourists have returned from the Annapurna region because of the army or the Maoists.